As smartphone tech seeks new solutions to accommodate bigger and better screens, the foldable smartphone became an inevitable answer. We have been talking about Foldable phones for many years now, but it’s only now that they have gone mainstream. (हिंदी में पढ़िए)
There were numerous hurdles, but the foldable phones did make it to markets in late 2019. Samsung managed to retail more than 400,000 units of the 1st-gen Galaxy Fold in spite of the exorbitant price. It then marched ahead with a few more design updates and variations. Herein you will gain the details of all other folding phones from various other brands.
Judging by the enthusiasm towards this new phone form factor, we are optimistic that the trend will slowly but steadily catch on. That brings us to the question —
How’s the software ecosystem optimized for foldable phones?
Android has built-in ‘Screen Continuity’ support, and so developers won’t have to go through an awful lot of trouble to optimize their apps for foldable displays. Simply put, it’s the feature by which an app could smoothly and seamlessly transform to and fro the different screen sizes.
Google is already encouraging developers to add Screen Continuity, Multi-resume, and Multi-display support to their apps to make the transition to foldable phones smooth.
List of the Best Folding Phones to buy in 2022
Here’s a list of foldable phones that are already out or will be coming to the market really soon.
1. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G
Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G is the third-gen Samsung foldable that is a refinement over its predecessors. The handset has a 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x display with 2208 x 1768 pixels resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. This display called Infinity Flex Display folds in half and you get a 6.2-inch screen on the surface. That cover panel is plenty big to use as a regular phone. Turn on the screen, you would be greeted by the OneUI 3.1 based on Android 11 with tailored software tweaks.
The phone ships with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC paired with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes with a 4,400mAh battery capacity.
The phone includes 6 cameras – On the rear, there is a 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide camera, followed by a 12MP (f/1.8) wide-angle camera, and a 12MP (f/2.4) 2x telephoto sensor; on the inner screen, there is a 4MP (f/1.8) camera; and finally upfront, you’ll get a 10MP (f/2.2) sensor.
2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G
Riding high on the Galaxy Z Flip’s popularity, Samsung has launched the Z Flip 3 5G. Yeah, the brand skipped the Flip 2 moniker to match the Z Fold nomenclature. Anyways, this is still a flip n’ fold clamshell, supported by an improved ‘hideaway’ hinge mechanism. Samsung touts varied use cases in different angles thanks to this joint.
It has got an ‘Infinity Flex’ Dynamic AMOLED 2x glass panel that measures 6.7-inches and sports 2640 x 1080 pixels resolution.
It packs a Snapdragon 888 processor coupled with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. The internals also comprises a 3300mAh battery which supports 15W charging. The software is Android 11 based One UI. Rest, you also get 5G, a USB-C port, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and 4G LTE.
3. Oppo Find N
Oppo Find N comes with a 5.49-inch cover screen that has got an 18:9 aspect ratio and a 60Hz refresh rate. Inside, the main screen, which Oppo calls the Serene Display stretches 7.1 inches with an 8.4:9 aspect ratio in the unfolded state. It’s an LTPO panel though with up to a 120Hz refresh rate. But other than that, Oppo claims both these screens are calibrated for color and brightness parity. Speaking of which, the inner display also comes with an in-built ambient sensor that endows 10,240 automatic brightness levels and the thing can go as bright as 1000 nits. Being a folding handset, the Find N display has a 12-layer structure with a 0.03mm Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) on top. Not just that, you also get Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection.
Compared to the competition, it has got up to 80 percent less crease, as attested by TÜV Rheinland. The German certification site also tells that this device is tested to withstand more than 200,000 folds as well as -20℃ temperature. The former is possible thanks to an in-house engineered Flexion Hinge with 136 individual parts. This mechanical joint allows for various form factors between 50 to 120 degrees like clamshell and FlexForm. It can also be shut with a satisfactory clasp leaving a 0.01mm gap only.
Other things in the mix are a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC, up to 12GB LPDDR5 RAM, up to 512GB UFS 3.1 storage, a 4500mAh battery, 33W SuperVOOC wired charging, 5 cameras including a 50MP one at the back, and ColorOS software based on Android 11 with custom features for the form factor.
4. Moto Razr 5G (2020)
The second iteration of Motorola’s legendary smartphone the Razr brought back the good OG design, with some structural improvements, upgraded specs, and 5G capability. The new Razr has a 6.2-inch vertical Flip-View pOLED display with 876 x 2142 pixels resolution. At the top of this screen lies a notch wherein the phone’s 20MP selfie snapper resides. At the back, there’s a primary 48-megapixel rear shooter, which also substitutes the selfie action while the phone’s in its folded form. This one comes with Night-mode and AI enhancements.
The 2.7-inch OLED cover display in the Razr’s folded state is called a Quick-View display. It’s used for peeking at notifications, sending preset quick replies, controlling music playback, etc.
Inside it is running on a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset, with Android 10 on top. The Razr ticks on a 2800mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging.
5. Xiaomi Mi MIX Fold
Xiaomi’s Mi MIX Fold has got an inward folding design like the Galaxy Fold 2 and Mate X2. Inside lies an 8-inch flexible AMOLED panel with WQHD+ resolution (2480 x 1860), 60Hz refresh rate, 120Hz touch sampling rate, 600 nits peak brightness, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+. Flip to the front, and there you have a 6.5-inch AMOLED screen with 2520 x 840 resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, 180Hz touch sampling rate, 900 nits peak brightness, and HDR 10+ support.
Other highlights include Liquid Lens capable of going 3x optical zoom as well as close-up macros (3cm), a 108MP main camera, quad-speakers, a 5020mAh battery, a 67W turbocharger, up to 16GB LPDDR5 RAM, 512GB UFS 3.1 storage, and the flagship Snapdragon 888.
6. Microsoft Surface Duo
Microsoft Surface Duo is another device that comes with twin screens. This one doesn’t have a foldable display but brings together two different screens on either side of a patented and slim hinge that rotates 360-degrees. The idea of freely multitasking on two different screens simultaneously is thoroughly appealing, which makes the Surface Duo very exciting.
The Surface Duo is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and features two 5.6-inches screens. It runs on a custom Android build made with Google.
7. Huawei Mate X2
The original Huawei Mate X unfolded to transform a regular rectangle smartphone into a large tablet. The subsequent Mate Xs was also a refined iteration featuring a sturdier ‘Falcon Wing’ mechanical hinge and stronger display. However, that changes with the Mate X2 which borrows the Galaxy Fold’s design, albeit with some changes.
Whence unfolded, there is an 8-inch screen with a 90Hz refresh rate and 2480 x 2200 pixels resolution. As for the cover display, you get a 6.45-inch primary display on the front with an 1160 x 2700 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate.
A quad-camera setup powered by Leica optics takes care of the rear photography. This includes a primary 50MP sensor (wide-angle lens), 12MP (3x optical telephoto lens), an 8MP sensor (10x optical periscope telephoto), and finally a 16MP ultrawide snapper. For selfies, you get a 16MP shooter within a pill-shaped cutout.
The internal specs include a Kirin 9000 chip coupled with a Mali-G78 GPU, 8GB RAM, 256/512GB storage (further expandable up to 256GB via Huawei’s Nano MMC), and a 4500mAh battery with 55W fast charge support.
8. Royole Flexpai 2
Many wouldn’t know that it wasn’t Samsung or any other big shots, but Royole, a lesser-known Chinese company that launched the world’s first foldable phone named Flexpai. The tech community, however, was not impressed by the rushed-up barebone device. The brand then sometime later came out with the Flexpai 2. It bragged a better hinge design that was tested for 200,000+ folds. On top was a newly developed display called Cicada Wing that was composed of 100 micro-nano particles. This was claimed to withstand bubbles, creases, and folding strain.
Other specs consist of a 7.8-inch panel in the unfolded state, quad cameras, 5G-capable Snapdragon 865, LPDDR5 RAM, and UFS 3.0 storage.
9. TCL Trifold
TCL showcased its trifold foldable concept. It principally is a 6.65-inch phone that unfolds into a full-size, 10-inch ‘tablet’. Yeah a full-fledged tablet, not a broader phone. This transition takes 3x unfolding. It employs the brand’s DragonHinge hinge. The displays are lit up by three batteries. It might be at the moment experimental due to the chunky profile (in the folded state) and an absent software solution. Still and all, it’s interesting and TCL should be able to find a way to make it feasible in the future. Unlike the foldables, the rollables seem to manifest less crease.
A foldable future thus unfolds
The folding phones listed in this article:
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G
- Oppo Find N
- Motorola Razr 5G
- Xiaomi Mi MIX Fold
- Microsoft Surface Duo
- Huawei Mate X2
- Royole Flexpai 2
- TCL Trifold
- Oppo X 2021 rollable phone
- Vivo X fold 2022
Any new technology would undergo some hurdles in the initial phase, but it looks like we are past the worst phase of foldable. As such, we look forward to more folding concepts from the smartphone world.